Review – The Cruel Prince

Title: The Cruel Prince

Series: Folk of the Air #1

Author: Holly Black


Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him – and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Well now I finally know what all the fuss was about.

It happened so quickly. One moment I was turning the first page and the next my eyes were glued to the words as I finished the last chapter. And I get it now. I get the hype about Jude and Cardan and all of Faerie. Because it’s so good. Maybe Holly Black is a Faerie herself. A master of storytelling she certainly is.

Books about faeries seem to have reached a high in these past few years, but this one was refreshing for me to read.


Jude, our no nonsense bad ass mortal main character. She is headstrong and wants to fit into Faerie on her own terms and not as a mere mortal. She stands up for herself and fights, even when everything is falling around her human ears.

Cardan is your love-to-hate-turned-to-actual-love kind of character. And boy do we love those. He’s complex and layered, which we slowly discover the further we get into the book.

There is a slow-burning thing going on between Jude and Cardan. It started as flat-out hatred, but it’s unravelling, whether they want it to or not.

The side characters are complex as well, Taryn, Madoc and don’t get me started on Locke. My goodness I was happy with him for a good while and then it all went to hell. What a piece of crap he turned out to be.


The plot was refreshing and for me, new. It mixed our world with Faerie and I enjoyed that, getting to experience both sides of something and see the vast differences, but also how close, at least in geographical terms, Faerie seems to be to our world.

There’s just something about fantasy books involving royalty that I enjoy more than other stories. It’s classic in away and with a sense of the unachievable. Maybe it’s because I live in a country with a monarchy. I don’t know if I’m even making sense here, but there you are.

The story itself had a great pace, picking up speed when needed at a point where you were almost afraid to catch your breath (the coronation scene is still fresh in mind).


The ending. Oh the ending. Let me tell you just one thing. I finished this late at night and first thing the next morning I rushed to my bookshelves and pulled out the sequel, The Wicked King (so happy about getting it way before starting this series) and began reading. So much happened towards the end that I just flew through the pages, drinking up everything that happened. It was action packed, thrilling and I had no clue what was going to happen and those are the stories I enjoy the most – the ones where I cannot anticipate how it will end. I get so amped up not knowing, heart rate increasing, breathing quickens. And I love it! And this ending did all of that.

Final thoughts

Wow. Why did I wait so long before reading this? Easy 5 star rating for me and if the series continues this strong or get stronger then I know I’m in for a treat.

Have you read The Folk of Air series?
Are you a fan?

5 thoughts on “Review – The Cruel Prince

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